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Sabertooth Z87/i7-4770k air cooling and overclock ability with the Fractal R4 case

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November 8, 2013 1:46:58 AM

Hey people of the tom's hardware forums whom I have received much help from in just reading lots of Q & A's while putting together my first build :)  This is my first post. This is the build I chose:

-Fractal Design Define R4 (windowed)
-i7-4770k
-ASUS SABERTOOTH Z87
-Gigabyte GTX 770 GDDR5-4GB
-WD 1TB black HDD & Kingston 120gb SSD
-Corsair Vengeance 8gb 1600mhz RAM
-Corsair HX850W PSU
-CM Hyper 212 Evo

Now my questions are, will the R4's inculded case fans (just 2 140mm fans for intake/exhaust), coupled with the 212 evo, be sufficient enough for nice temps while OC'ing? (also I should mention that I purchased arctic silver 5 thermal paste to use instead of the stock one that will come with the 212 evo) Should I fill every fan slot on the case and get 4 140mm or 4 120mm fans for 2 more intakes and 2 more exhausts? Or is that just overkill? If not, what kind of fans should i get? I read that the SP120s and Jetflos were good.

And my other question is how far do you guys think I can push the 4770k that will be stable with this set-up. I know every cpu is different but if someone could give me a rough estimate on what frequency I could safely achieve with just the stock case fans vs with all of the extra airflow from using all the fan slots.

Sorry if I was overly thorough with my questioning but I am a newbie lol. Any thoughts are appreciated, thank you.

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November 8, 2013 2:19:28 AM

matrixter said:
Hey people of the tom's hardware forums whom I have received much help from in just reading lots of Q & A's while putting together my first build :)  This is my first post. This is the build I chose:

-Fractal Design Define R4 (windowed)
-i7-4770k
-ASUS SABERTOOTH Z87
-Gigabyte GTX 770 GDDR5-4GB
-WD 1TB black HDD & Kingston 120gb SSD
-Corsair Vengeance 8gb 1600mhz RAM
-Corsair HX850W PSU
-CM Hyper 212 Evo

Now my questions are, will the R4's inculded case fans (just 2 140mm fans for intake/exhaust), coupled with the 212 evo, be sufficient enough for nice temps while OC'ing? (also I should mention that I purchased arctic silver 5 thermal paste to use instead of the stock one that will come with the 212 evo) Should I fill every fan slot on the case and get 4 140mm or 4 120mm fans for 2 more intakes and 2 more exhausts? Or is that just overkill? If not, what kind of fans should i get? I read that the SP120s and Jetflos were good.

And my other question is how far do you guys think I can push the 4770k that will be stable with this set-up. I know every cpu is different but if someone could give me a rough estimate on what frequency I could safely achieve with just the stock case fans vs with all of the extra airflow from using all the fan slots.

Sorry if I was overly thorough with my questioning but I am a newbie lol. Any thoughts are appreciated, thank you.


Stable overclock of 4.2-4.4Ghz should be okay, anything higher depends on ambient temps, airflow and your chip.

More fans = more airflow (but also increased sound), you can never be overkill , just maintain positive pressure by having a greater intake than outake.
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November 8, 2013 2:17:23 PM

ed d said:
matrixter said:
Hey people of the tom's hardware forums whom I have received much help from in just reading lots of Q & A's while putting together my first build :)  This is my first post. This is the build I chose:

-Fractal Design Define R4 (windowed)
-i7-4770k
-ASUS SABERTOOTH Z87
-Gigabyte GTX 770 GDDR5-4GB
-WD 1TB black HDD & Kingston 120gb SSD
-Corsair Vengeance 8gb 1600mhz RAM
-Corsair HX850W PSU
-CM Hyper 212 Evo

Now my questions are, will the R4's inculded case fans (just 2 140mm fans for intake/exhaust), coupled with the 212 evo, be sufficient enough for nice temps while OC'ing? (also I should mention that I purchased arctic silver 5 thermal paste to use instead of the stock one that will come with the 212 evo) Should I fill every fan slot on the case and get 4 140mm or 4 120mm fans for 2 more intakes and 2 more exhausts? Or is that just overkill? If not, what kind of fans should i get? I read that the SP120s and Jetflos were good.

And my other question is how far do you guys think I can push the 4770k that will be stable with this set-up. I know every cpu is different but if someone could give me a rough estimate on what frequency I could safely achieve with just the stock case fans vs with all of the extra airflow from using all the fan slots.

Sorry if I was overly thorough with my questioning but I am a newbie lol. Any thoughts are appreciated, thank you.


Stable overclock of 4.2-4.4Ghz should be okay, anything higher depends on ambient temps, airflow and your chip.

More fans = more airflow (but also increased sound), you can never be overkill , just maintain positive pressure by having a greater intake than outake.


oh so I should then use 1 less exhaust fan then intake fan? and should I mount my psu fan side up or down? ncix tech tips's linus did it fan side up during the 1500 gaming pc guide he did stating that it draws more heat away from the graphics card
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November 8, 2013 2:24:46 PM

matrixter said:
ed d said:
matrixter said:
Hey people of the tom's hardware forums whom I have received much help from in just reading lots of Q & A's while putting together my first build :)  This is my first post. This is the build I chose:

-Fractal Design Define R4 (windowed)
-i7-4770k
-ASUS SABERTOOTH Z87
-Gigabyte GTX 770 GDDR5-4GB
-WD 1TB black HDD & Kingston 120gb SSD
-Corsair Vengeance 8gb 1600mhz RAM
-Corsair HX850W PSU
-CM Hyper 212 Evo

Now my questions are, will the R4's inculded case fans (just 2 140mm fans for intake/exhaust), coupled with the 212 evo, be sufficient enough for nice temps while OC'ing? (also I should mention that I purchased arctic silver 5 thermal paste to use instead of the stock one that will come with the 212 evo) Should I fill every fan slot on the case and get 4 140mm or 4 120mm fans for 2 more intakes and 2 more exhausts? Or is that just overkill? If not, what kind of fans should i get? I read that the SP120s and Jetflos were good.

And my other question is how far do you guys think I can push the 4770k that will be stable with this set-up. I know every cpu is different but if someone could give me a rough estimate on what frequency I could safely achieve with just the stock case fans vs with all of the extra airflow from using all the fan slots.

Sorry if I was overly thorough with my questioning but I am a newbie lol. Any thoughts are appreciated, thank you.


Stable overclock of 4.2-4.4Ghz should be okay, anything higher depends on ambient temps, airflow and your chip.

More fans = more airflow (but also increased sound), you can never be overkill , just maintain positive pressure by having a greater intake than outake.


oh so I should then use 1 less exhaust fan then intake fan? and should I mount my psu fan side up or down? ncix tech tips's linus did it fan side up during the 1500 gaming pc guide he did stating that it draws more heat away from the graphics card


Usually , one or two fans less.

The psu doesnt have a tremendous difference , if you have it facing down , make sure it wont be on a carpet to prevent any fire hazards.
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November 8, 2013 2:44:30 PM

ed d said:
matrixter said:
ed d said:
matrixter said:
Hey people of the tom's hardware forums whom I have received much help from in just reading lots of Q & A's while putting together my first build :)  This is my first post. This is the build I chose:

-Fractal Design Define R4 (windowed)
-i7-4770k
-ASUS SABERTOOTH Z87
-Gigabyte GTX 770 GDDR5-4GB
-WD 1TB black HDD & Kingston 120gb SSD
-Corsair Vengeance 8gb 1600mhz RAM
-Corsair HX850W PSU
-CM Hyper 212 Evo

Now my questions are, will the R4's inculded case fans (just 2 140mm fans for intake/exhaust), coupled with the 212 evo, be sufficient enough for nice temps while OC'ing? (also I should mention that I purchased arctic silver 5 thermal paste to use instead of the stock one that will come with the 212 evo) Should I fill every fan slot on the case and get 4 140mm or 4 120mm fans for 2 more intakes and 2 more exhausts? Or is that just overkill? If not, what kind of fans should i get? I read that the SP120s and Jetflos were good.

And my other question is how far do you guys think I can push the 4770k that will be stable with this set-up. I know every cpu is different but if someone could give me a rough estimate on what frequency I could safely achieve with just the stock case fans vs with all of the extra airflow from using all the fan slots.

Sorry if I was overly thorough with my questioning but I am a newbie lol. Any thoughts are appreciated, thank you.


Stable overclock of 4.2-4.4Ghz should be okay, anything higher depends on ambient temps, airflow and your chip.

More fans = more airflow (but also increased sound), you can never be overkill , just maintain positive pressure by having a greater intake than outake.


oh so I should then use 1 less exhaust fan then intake fan? and should I mount my psu fan side up or down? ncix tech tips's linus did it fan side up during the 1500 gaming pc guide he did stating that it draws more heat away from the graphics card


Usually , one or two fans less.

The psu doesnt have a tremendous difference , if you have it facing down , make sure it wont be on a carpet to prevent any fire hazards.


Okay sounds good. I think I will face it down to take advantage of the dust filter on the case and it wont be on carpet so that won't be an issue.

Since I plan to overclock. Would the H100i be a way better option? How high of an overclock could I get if I return the 212 evo and go with that instead? And is an all in one water cooler like that reliable as far as it not bursting open and leaking all over my valuable components and ruining my computer?

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November 8, 2013 11:30:34 PM

It's to theoretical , it would depend on the chip.

Closed loop coolers are reliable , however one or two can leak, often they'll use a non conductive coolant , so it wont damage your components but just be annoying to clean of again.

I have not see many burst/split and leak
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November 9, 2013 3:43:04 AM

ed d said:
It's to theoretical , it would depend on the chip.

Closed loop coolers are reliable , however one or two can leak, often they'll use a non conductive coolant , so it wont damage your components but just be annoying to clean of again.

I have not see many burst/split and leak


Thanks for the help ed. I was beginning to wonder how many pages this thread would go up to if we kept chaining all of our previous quotes together lol.

I decided to return the evo 212 and opted for the h100i as well as 2 noctua 140mm fans for the front intake and then im going to take that front 140 that comes with the case and throw that on the bottom by the psu that way I will take advantage of all the fan mounts. The high pressure noctuas will be very good for intake so they can suck air through all that mesh and filter on the front of the case. Thinking about what you said though about keeping positive pressure. Is this going to be an issue as I will have 3 intakes and 3 exhausts kind of. Unless having that radiator balances it out or something.

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November 9, 2013 10:52:28 AM

matrixter said:
ed d said:
It's to theoretical , it would depend on the chip.

Closed loop coolers are reliable , however one or two can leak, often they'll use a non conductive coolant , so it wont damage your components but just be annoying to clean of again.

I have not see many burst/split and leak


Thanks for the help ed. I was beginning to wonder how many pages this thread would go up to if we kept chaining all of our previous quotes together lol.

I decided to return the evo 212 and opted for the h100i as well as 2 noctua 140mm fans for the front intake and then im going to take that front 140 that comes with the case and throw that on the bottom by the psu that way I will take advantage of all the fan mounts. The high pressure noctuas will be very good for intake so they can suck air through all that mesh and filter on the front of the case. Thinking about what you said though about keeping positive pressure. Is this going to be an issue as I will have 3 intakes and 3 exhausts kind of. Unless having that radiator balances it out or something.



Replace the h100i fans too , they are very noisy (personally others may disagree) and set up a push pull configuration.

If the intake is similar to the out-take then you will be fine.

Dont forget to select a best solution.
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November 9, 2013 1:23:07 PM

ed d said:
matrixter said:
ed d said:
It's to theoretical , it would depend on the chip.

Closed loop coolers are reliable , however one or two can leak, often they'll use a non conductive coolant , so it wont damage your components but just be annoying to clean of again.

I have not see many burst/split and leak


Thanks for the help ed. I was beginning to wonder how many pages this thread would go up to if we kept chaining all of our previous quotes together lol.

I decided to return the evo 212 and opted for the h100i as well as 2 noctua 140mm fans for the front intake and then im going to take that front 140 that comes with the case and throw that on the bottom by the psu that way I will take advantage of all the fan mounts. The high pressure noctuas will be very good for intake so they can suck air through all that mesh and filter on the front of the case. Thinking about what you said though about keeping positive pressure. Is this going to be an issue as I will have 3 intakes and 3 exhausts kind of. Unless having that radiator balances it out or something.



Replace the h100i fans too , they are very noisy (personally others may disagree) and set up a push pull configuration.

If the intake is similar to the out-take then you will be fine.

Dont forget to select a best solution.


I dont think I'll want to spend money on another 4 fans for push/pull right now but I will most like down the road buy 2 noctua nf-f12's to replace the h100i's and configure them in pull. seeing as how they are pressure optimizee I dont see a reason to do a push pull. and then im also going to buy another nf-a14 flx to replace the bottom 140.

and the front and back ones wont be the same. the back is the stock 140 fan but think it should be fine as far as positive pressure tho because I will have 3 140mm fans for intake where as for exhause there will be 1 140 and 2 120's

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March 5, 2014 10:12:28 PM

Hey just wondering how your build went? I am about to start a build that uses actually the same case, processor, and motherboard.
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